The judges' best picks from Ludum Dare 33's Jam.

Ludum Dare 33: Jam winner overview

The judges' best picks from Ludum Dare 33's Jam.

Ludum Dare is one of the biggest game jams around and they’ve just finished judging for their 33rd competition. The theme for this contest is “You are the Monster.” Developers had to take that idea and run with it.

Ludum Dare consists of two different contest categories: Jam and Compo. The Jam is a (relatively) more lenient category in which developers are allowed to work with a team to make a game in 72 hours.

Here are the Jam first-place winners.

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Overall and Fun

Mobs, Inc. by Pietro Ferrantelli

Mobs, Inc. is hiring new employees ! The dungeon the company has been taking care of, has become so attractive that too many adventurers are visiting it every day.

Pros: The tongue-in-cheek humor and fast-paced action lead to a truly enjoyable experience. I could sink a lot of time into this game.

Cons: No game over screen. Your boss just tells you to “get back to work” like he always does and it cuts back to the intro. A slightly confusing and disappointing end to a great experience.


Passengers by nerial

PASSENGERS is a game where you play a smuggler of migrants in Europe.

Migrants are all over the news. They’re treated as a group of people, not as individuals. We wanted to go beyond that, to show some of their individuality and how powerless it is in front of the acting monster, you.

Pros: Inspired by Papers, Please, this game explores how players act in a daunting situation.

Cons: Gameplay quickly becomes repetitive. There is no apparent ending or goal to the game aside from staying out of debt.


Everyday Misanthrope by Liz England

Everyday Misanthrope is a choose-your-own-misery simulation in which you gain catharsis from spreading everyday suffering.

Pros: An approachable text game with a biting sense of humor. I ruined 69 lives, including a flock of pigeons, and somehow felt accomplished. Click here to read our full review.

Cons: Though it isn’t the most ambitious project, there’s nothing bad to say about the game itself. That being said, the preferences menu is an absolute mess. It didn’t ruin my life, but it did hurt my eyes.

Graphics, Audio, and Mood

The Fifth Apartment by The Fifth Apartment

The old lady lives a frugal and lonely life on apartment number 5 of Mont Sinaï building.

But who could be lonely with all the demons of a lifetime?

Pros: The oppressive isolation held my attention from beginning to end. The mystery of the lost girl added to the tension.

Cons: The sound balancing. One moment, I’m raising the volume because I thought I’d heard whispering, and the next I’m lowering it because the music on the radio was blasting my ears off.


The Trial of Tyrone Rex by Manky

Tyrone Rex has committed murder, and a corrupt justice system will stop at nothing to see him incarcerated! But with the help of an airborne ally, Tyrone might just have a shot at avoiding the guilty verdict and getting away with his crime!

Pros: A delightful parody of the Phoenix Wright games done with plastic dinosaur toys. The judge’s gloat face had me in stitches.

Cons: Not much of a game. I tried giving the wrong answers to see if there was some variety in the responses but was disappointed to find that even that was fairly linear.

That's all for the Jam! To see the results for the Compo, the 48-hour challenge, click here.

The next Ludum Dare is set for December 11-14. To see the runner-ups, head over to the full list on Ludum Dare’s site or check out our top picks from Ludum Dare 32.

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Clint Pereira
GS intern. Writer, blogger, aspiring millionaire. Parrot on shoulder at all times.